Pon­toon to re­ceive a new lease of life

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

A PIECE of local his­tory is to re­ceive ma­jor re­con­struc­tive surgery be­fore be­ing re­lo­cated per­ma­nently.

The old Quick­sil­ver pon­toon which was used as an un­der­wa­ter ob­ser­va­tory for tourists vis­it­ing the Great Bar­rier Reef be­fore be­ing re­placed sev­eral years ago has been sit­ting high and dry next to the slip­way for sev­eral years.

It is now be­ing con­verted into a house­boat be­fore head­ing to Air­lie Beach where it will be moored per­ma­nently.

But Ge­orge and Kate Col­lier, who were re­cently granted a three-year lease to op­er­ate the Port Dou­glas slip­way, said re­fit­ting the pon­toon has not been with­out its dra­mas af­ter the 30-tonne pon­toon col­lapsed and fell from the dolly and landed on the con­crete floor of the slip­way over the week­end.

“It gave us a bit of a fright ini­tially but we were able to re­in­force the dolly and some other equip­ment for lift­ing it back on to the dolly,” Mr Col­lier said.

“But the real help came from a very high tide at 9.30 on Mon­day night and we got right in un­der the pon­toon and lifted it up and then we just used our pul­leys to haul it up the rail­way tracks where it is now be­ing re­fit­ted.”

The pon­toon has since been sta­bilised and the re­fit go­ing ahead as sched­uled.

Photo by PAUL BUT­LER

Close call: the old Quick­sil­ver pon­toon is be­ing con­verted to a

house­boat

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